We began our night time routine as usual tonight, as we do every night due to Nyah's need for repetition which I have wrote about before. Dinner, bath, read, teeth, potty, bed, songs with scratching, kisses, water, another kiss and done (if we're lucky).
On this particular night, as many nights before, Nyah chose to read the story of Hansel and Gretel. Someone gave us this story, a story I was not familiar with. The pictures are seriously faded with the characters molded from clay. Its a special book and understand why she is so drawn to it. Its odd, you can't help but stare at the pages and strange characters.
Tonight I began the story and told it as I always do but kind of felt bad because honestly, I am not giving Ny the whole truth. I have to make up the story as I go because, hello, has anyone read this story? I remember my first time reading the story, I almost choked as I read the words and of course immediately stopped. Wasn't aware I needed to prescreen fairy tales prior to reading them.
I will admit, I am a bionafied wuss- no scary movies, try to limit the bad images that I allow into my brain, jump when a door closes, etc. With that said, I might be sheltering Ny and creating another wuss but I just can't bring myself to tell my three year old about kids who's stepmother doesn't want them, abandons them in the woods, kids who eat a gingerbread house, only to be invited in by a cannibalistic witch who captures them, locks Hansel in a cage to fatten him up to eat while she enslaves Gretel only to be outwitted by the kids, pushed in the wood burning stove to be burned alive.
Who decided this German fairy tale was appropriate for children? What is the moral in this story, as I thought all of the classic fairy tales seem to have. Um, be good or your parents will abandon you, especially if you happen to have a step mother, or don't trust old woman, or keep an eye out for cannibals. Wtf?
The story disturbs and scares me to say the least so I just make up my own story and leave it at that and hope the tale never comes up with her teacher or other kids someday when she will have to be all like, "What, you mean Hansel and Gretel didn't get lost during a picnic and the kind old woman helped them home and they all lived happily ever after?"
I can't imagine if I actually read her the story word for word, she would be up all night. She already has enough to worry about before bed, like moco jumbies, what she is doing when she wakes up, who is taking her to school, and if she can have juice in the morning the second her eyes open. Maybe she is onto me, onto the fact that I am not telling her the whole story which is why she keeps asking me to read the story over and over again.
So here is my official apology, to you Hansel and Gretel, I love you and am sure you were adorable in your creators head, but your story is sad. But I am mostly sorry to you Nyah, just can't bring myself to expose you to the oddness of the world quite yet. I am your mom and thats my job.